“I’m Angela Dunkley from Lincolnshire. The antisemitism row has been kept at the top of the headlines now for over a week. It has been analysed to the nth degree. Wider discussion on nomenclature and how one can say anything that could be construed as ‘anti-Israeli regime’ without being seen as antisemitic is increasingly difficult.That’s not to suggest that there isn’t a story, because there clearly is, and there clearly is a problem, but to keep it in the headlines for over a week seems a bit extreme to me.
“My name is Richard Hill. The whole labour antisemitism row is a storm in a teacup. it seems to me that it is being pushed to the top of the news agenda by yourselves in order to discredit Corbyn and Labour. As one of the millions of sensible people in this country on the political central ground who now feel unrepresented by any party. I’m looking to you to present a fair balanced coverage of events. In this regard you are failing badloy. (Bit of dialect there to add authenticity)
Had enough? Tough.
“My name is Joanna Leach and I live in London. I was frustrated by the fact that a huge amount of media coverage - went on for about ten days now, but there was no attempt to understand the confusion between antisemitism and criticism of Israel.
Oh deary, deary me.
Angela Dunkley wishes to be able to criticise the ‘Israeli regime’ without being accused of antisemitism and thinks a whole week is too long for the BBC to cover the ‘row’ about antisemitism in the Labour Party. How long, I wonder, does she think the coverage should be? Does the issue merit three days? One day? Half? Not at all? Well, she did concede that it’s a story so perhaps saying ‘not at all’ was a little disingenuous on my part. People will be ringing Roger Bolton to complain that the BBC is making too much fuss about Islamophobia next.
Ms Leach from London has extended the limit from a week to ten days, but she wants more air time devoted to the confusion between antisemitism and criticism of Israel. I assume she means making it clear that the two are completely unrelated She’s frustrated and pretends she’s confused as to how two such separate issues could be conflated. She wants to know why she can’t denigrate Israel as freely as she feels she must.
Anyway, this threesome finds discussions about Jeremy Corbyn’s antisemitic leanings tiresome and excessive, yet they appear strangely eager to participate in ‘criticism’ of the ‘Israeli regime’.
Many critics of the BBC’s coverage of antisemitism in the Labour Party dislike hearing reports about the matter, and stick to the terms ‘criticism of the Israeli regime’ or “legitimate criticism of the Israeli government” rather than coming clean and saying they can’t stand the whole Zionist project. They’re careful with their language so as to hide the real problem they have with Israel, which is that it won’t let the Palestinian Arabs put an end to it. The BBC’s woeful overage of the Israeli Palestinian conflict provides the foundations for this deliberate obfuscation.
Jeremy Corbyn has been emboldened by the response to his infamous seder with Jewdas. He’s shown that he can’t be antisemitic (because of the identity of some of his best friends) so he’s made a bold and unequivocally anti-Zionist statement about the Hamas orchestrated March of Return.
“The killing and wounding of yet more unarmed Palestinian protesters yesterday by Israeli forces in Gaza is an outrage.
“The majority of the people of the Gaza Strip are stateless refugees, subject to a decade-long blockade and the denial of basic human and political rights/
“More than two thirds are reliant on humanitarian assistance, with limited access to the most basic amenities, such as water and electricity.
“They have a right to protest against their appalling conditions and the continuing blockade and occupation of Palestinian land, and in support of their right to return to their homes and their right to self-determination.
“Firing live ammunition into crowds of unarmed civilians is illegal and inhumane and cannot be tolerated.
“We stand in solidarity with the Israelis who have taken to the streets this last week to protest their government’s actions
“The silence from international powers with the responsibility of bringing a just settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict must end.
“The UK Government must support the UN secretary-general’s call for an independent international inquiry into the killing of protesters in Gaza and review the sale of arms that could be used in violation of international law.
“The events in Gaza and the threat of renewed conflict underlines the urgent necessity of genuine negotiations to achieve a viable two-state settlement that delivers peace, justice and security to both Palestinians and Israelis.”
The man who was so keen to reserve judgment on the Putin affair has rushed to excoriate Israel for woes affecting Gaza, which are largely due to the rift between the PA and Hamas; to bandy about the term ‘Palestinian land’, to describe rioting, tyre-burning, molotov cocktail wielding thugs as unarmed civilians and to call for a review of the sale of arms to Israel. He’s turned a blind eye to the untenable implications of the Right of Return, is cloth-eared over chants of “Death to Jews”, and he expects Israelis to live side by side with people who want to kill them. But he’s not an antisemite, hasn’t got a racist bone in his body, some of his best friends are Jewish and he's merely criticising the policies of the Israeli government.